SDSU grad pursues acting career in NYC


Jordan Rusche, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After Braedon Paulson graduated from South Dakota State University in May 2021, he knew he wanted to expand on his degrees in music education and theater.

“With the training from SDSU, I could easily be a music teacher, and I love that fact, but I felt like I needed just a little bit more concentrated training to be a performer to the level that I want it to be,” he said.

So, after completing his undergrad, Paulson moved to New York City in August 2021, seeking a master degree in music and vocal performance, with a concentration in musical theater, from New York University.

Paulson, who is from Brandon, South Dakota, said he has already gotten involved in some productions through NYU, like a production of Pippin that will perform in February and a pop group called Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. He said working with the professor for the ensemble, Janice Pendarvis, has been especially exciting.

“She’s like a legend,” he said. “All professors at NYU very much are all professionals in the industry, so it’s super cool getting insight on performing from old performers.”

Paulson said the move from South Dakota to New York and adjusting to life in a large city took some getting used to when he first arrived.

“I’d visited New York City, but it was kind of a foreign concept still, like the scary big city,” he said. “So moving here, there’s so many different things just about the East Coast versus the Midwest… There are a lot of growing pains that came with it.”

He credited his success at NYU now to the extensive education and training he received at SDSU.

“I still stand by that SDSU has some of the best theater training in the Midwest,” he said. “The all-encompassing knowledge I gained is so, so beneficial to what I’m doing.”

After graduating this coming May, Paulson hopes to audition for agents in the city to help connect him to musical theater roles, but he is keeping his options open for whatever opportunities present themselves.

“As time progresses and I gain experience, then I can maybe start being more selective, but it is kind of a case of just building up my skill set and training and whatnot,” he said.